Sunday, December 25, 2016

Screen Doors and Sweet Tea: Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes


Just a warning before I begin.  This recipe may include some mild language, momentary sensuality, and may not be appropriate for children under the age of 21.

Okay, holy crap guys.  If you grew up eating sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows like I did, you will recognize the genesis of this recipe.  But this ball of sweet, gooey, oozing perfection is so much more delicious, it's in a whole different ballpark.  They take some time to put together, but when the kiddos (kiddos: anyone under the age of 110) crack these open and find the sweet spot at the center, it's worth all the trouble.

Note: I added the bourbon and still served these to children.  I know, I'm a horrible person.  But I also added vanilla bean paste, and that was fantastic.  So I say go with both the bourbon and the vanilla.  Also, I found these much easier to form when my hands were clean and slightly wet.  This will involve rinsing your hands after forming each ball.  Told you it took time to put together.

Inside-Out Sweet Potatoes
From Screen Doors and Sweet Tea

6 sweet potatoes
1 cup crushed cornflakes
1 large egg
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon sherry or bourbon, or if kids will be partaking, vanilla extract
8 large marshmallows
Canola oil, for frying (1½ cups)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Pierce each sweet potato several times and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake for 40 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool in their jackets. When cool enough to handle, halve the potatoes, scoop out their flesh, and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth.

To make the inside-out sweet potatoes, place the cornflake crumbs in a shallow dish or pie pan. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl.

Combine the mashed sweet potatoes with the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, flour, orange juice, and sherry, bourbon, or vanilla extract.

Working with your hands, encase each marshmallow in some of the sweet potato mixture, forming a ball. If the sweet potato mixture seems too soft to hold its shape, stir in some of the crumbs to thicken it. (You can cover and refrigerate the sweet potato-smothered marshmallows for up to several hours.) Dip each ball in the egg and then roll it in the crumbs. Refrigerate just until the oil is hot.

Lower the oven temperature to 200°F. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it registers 375°F on a deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer. Place a wire rack over newspaper or paper towels.

Fry the inside-out sweet potatoes one or two at a time for 3 to 4 minutes, turning as needed, until lightly browned. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon, and place the drained balls on the prepared rack and transfer to the oven to keep warm while frying the remaining batches. Serve warm.

Baked Variation:
If you have the oven space and want to save a few calories, you can skip the deep frying. Instead, follow steps through forming the sweet potato balls and then preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper and generously spray the inside-out sweet potatoes with nonstick cooking spray. Bake until browned.

Makes 8 servings

Daring Gourmet: Roasted Garlic, Herb, and Lemon Cornish Game Hens


I think I hate making roasted birds.  That's saying a lot, since I basically love cooking anything and everything.  I just hate the way I roast the darn things according to the recipe, and then insert required thermometer, get assured they are at temperature, and then WHAM!  Still pink when cut.  Which inevitably leads to microwaving them into submission in a panic and dry meat like a desert.  My hate is never-ending.  BUT.  That being said, this recipe actually makes fully cooked birds that are still tender.  And they were actually tasty.  They may have made a small dent in my hatred of roasting birds.  Maybe.

Note: I don't think my mom's broil function on her oven works.  I promise these will be much browner and crispier in your oven.  #ovenfail

Roasted Garlic, Herb, and Lemon Cornish Game Hens
From Daring Gourmet blog

4 Cornish game hens, patted dry with paper towels
8 thin slices unsalted butter
4 sprigs each of fresh rosemary and thyme (or herbs of choice) plus some extra leaves of each
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 lemon, scrubbed well and cut into quarters
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Pat the hens dry with a paper towel. Use your index finger to loosen the skin on the top of the hen and slip a thin slice of butter under the skin on top of each breast. Add a few rosemary and thyme leaves (or herb of choice). Repeat for each hen. Put a quarter of a lemon in the cavity of each hen along with a clove of garlic and a sprig of fresh rosemary and thyme (or herb of choice). Truss the hens by tying the wings and legs.

Rub each hen all over with some extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place then hens on the rack of a roasting pan lined with aluminum foil, spacing them out so they are as far apart from each other as possible. This will enable their skins to get browned and crispy.

Place the hens in the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes.

While the hens are roasting, combine the chicken broth and wine in a bowl.

After the hens have been roasting for 25 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Pour the broth/wine mixture over the hens and continue to roast for 30 minutes, basting the hens with the juices at the bottom of the pan every 10 minutes or less. The hens are done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F and the juices run clear. If you prefer darker skins, turn up the temperature to broil for a couple more minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.

Carefully remove the hens and pour the juices from their cavities into the roasting pan. Transfer the hens to a warmed platter, remove the trussing string, and tent with aluminum foil to week warm. Pour the juices from the roasting pan into a saucepan and boil for about 5 minutes until the liquid is a thin sauce-like consistency. Serve the hens whole per guest or cut in half lengthwise and place cavity-down on each serving plate. Drizzle the sauce over the hens and garnish with fresh herb sprigs and a slice of lemon. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Modern Snack Bar: Crab and Shrimp Quiche


I know a lot of people aren't super fans of quiche.  I get it.  Really, I do.  I've had some bad quiche in my time.  Flavorless sponge in a crust.  But I can promise you that this quiche is NOT bad quiche.  This quiche is packed full of flavor and fabulous seafood.  And it's smothered in cheese.  Did I mention that?  You really can't go wrong on the quiche front with this one.  It was even luxurious enough to feel like a treat on Christmas morning.

Note: The egg filling is ridiculously thick (not that I mind), so it doesn't really work its way down through the shrimp and crab if you pour it on top.  Since I didn't want baked shrimp and crab with quiche on top, I gently folded the shrimp and crab into the egg mixture before dumping it all in the pie shell.

Crab and Shrimp Quiche
From Modern Snack Bar, New York, NY, as seen in Saveur magazine, Jan/Feb 2014

1¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons ice-cold water
½ pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
¼ pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked of shells
2 ounces shredded Cheddar
2 ounces shredded mozzarella
¾ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
5 large eggs
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Pulse flour, butter, and salt in a food processor until pea-size crumbles form. Add water; pulse until dough comes together. Flatten dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edges and crimp; chill 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 375°F. Using a fork, prick dough all over. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove paper and weights; let cool. 

Reduce oven to 325°F. Arrange shrimp over bottom of crust; sprinkle with crab. Whisk half each the cheddar and mozzarella, plus mayonnaise, sour cream, 1 teaspoon basil, the Old Bay, eggs, salt, and white pepper in a bowl; pour evenly over top of shrimp and crab. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and basil; bake until filling is set, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let quiche cool in pan, then unmold and cut into slices.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Aaron Sanchez: Mexican Brownies


What do you have for dessert after a Tex-Mex feast?  Well, you could do flan.  Or tres leches cake.  Or sopapillas.  Or you could just make something fantastically chocolatey that makes everyone groan with delight and forget to eat their dinner.  We obviously voted for the latter.  This brownie recipe is incredibly chocolatey (if you use the Valrhona cocoa I recommend), and the cinnamon adds just the right spice.  We actually thought there wasn't enough cayenne pepper, so feel free to be a little heavy handed with that one.

Note:  The frosting recipe comes from an old Hershey's booklet, and my family honestly feels like it's a perfect chocolate icing for most occasions.  And we also felt like the only way you could make these brownies even more fantastic than they already were was to slather them in this frosting.  Your personal level of hedonism is up to your discretion.

Mexican Brownies
Adapted from Aaron Sanchez

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Valrhona)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground Mexican cinnamon (canela)
¼ teaspoon pequin chili powder or cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Press the paper into the corners of the pan and lightly grease the paper with butter.

Melt the butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat; do not boil. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Add the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, chili powder, salt, and baking powder and mix until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fudgy, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack, then use the parchment paper to lift out the brownies before slicing.

Makes 18 brownies

Chocolate Frosting
From Hershey's

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⅓ cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix together the butter, vanilla, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of milk until smooth. Add cocoa powder and enough milk to make the frosting spreadable.

Pillsbury: Bacon-Jalapeño Popper Pinwheels


For our Tex-Mex Christmas Eve this year, we rounded up a whole bunch of delicious little tidbits involving hot peppers, avocados, and salsa.  And somehow my sister managed to find a recipe that would please her crescent roll-loving hubby and meet the requirements of the dinner.  Jalapeños?  Check.  And you know that I never complain about the inclusion of bacon in just about anything, so these puppies are all win-win.

Bacon-Jalapeño Popper Pinwheels
From Pillsbury

6 ounces jalapeño cream cheese spread (¾ cup from an 8-ounce container)
⅓ cup chopped cooked bacon
1 (8-ounce) can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix cream cheese and bacon until well blended; set aside.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into 4 (4x6-inch) rectangles, pressing perforations to seal. Spread cream cheese mixture on each of the dough rectangles to within ½-inch of edges. Starting with 1 short side, roll up rectangle; press seam to seal. Cut roll into 6 slices, and place slices cut side down on greased large cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough rectangles.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Makes 24 servings

Rick Bayless: Make-Ahead Margaritas


Not being a huge fan of bottled margarita mix, but also being a resident of the great state of Texas (residency requirement: drink margaritas and eat queso), I have searched high and low for a good margarita recipe.  Funny that I should find it in a book by a white guy in Chicago who cooks the hell out of Mexican food.  Hey, I'll take what I can get.  This recipe mixes up a slightly sweet and deliciously sour margarita that is also strong enough to make you loose and breezy on one, maybe two glasses (depending on the size of those glasses).  And since it makes a whole pitcher at a time, you don't have to worry about shot of this and that per glass when you're a couple margs in.

Make-Ahead Margaritas
From Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

1⅔ cups Sauza Hacienda Reposado tequila
¼ cup plus 1 teaspoon Patron Citronge orange liqueur
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 2 large, juicy limes)
Finely grated zest of 1½ limes, about 1½ teaspoons
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup water
Lime wedges
Coarse (or kosher) salt

Mix the tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, lime zest, sugar, and water in a glass or plastic pitcher until the sugar dissolves.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (but no more than 24 hours).  Strain into another pitcher.

Rub the rims of 8 martini or margarita glasses with a lime wedge, then dip the rims in a dish of coarse salt.  Serve the margaritas either straight-up or on the rocks in the prepared glasses.

Makes 8 margaritas

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sous Vide Turkey Breasts


A couple of years ago I purchased a sous vide oven.  I had great plans for all the delicious things I was going to make in said oven.  And to date, I've used it twice.  Embarrassing.  Normally I would feel that I have wasted money that would have been put to better use elsewhere, but after tonight, I cannot feel that way.  Friends, I have made the juiciest, most tender turkey breast on the planet.  And that's not even hyperbole.  This recipe will turn you into a turkey lover.  It's so moist, so tender, you'll swear it couldn't possibly be related to that horrid dried-out turkey you have every Thanksgiving.  And the best part?  It requires almost no action from you.  Just let the turkey stew away in its vacuum pack, and you'll be rewarded with perfection.

Sous Vide Turkey Breasts
Cooking times and temperatures from seriouseats.com

1 large whole skin-on, bone-in turkey breast (about 5 pounds), split into two breasts3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup Lawry's seasoned salt
1 large sprig rosemary, leaves removed
6 small sprigs thyme

Loosen the skin and smear 1½ tablespoons of butter under the skin of each breast.  Sprinkle each breast with half of the seasoned salt and half of the rosemary leaves.  Slide each breast into a separate vacuum bag, and then slide three sprigs of thyme onto the top of each breast.  Seal the bags.

Preheat the sous vide machine to 145°F/63°C.  Lay the sealed bags into the machine and make sure they are fully immersed.  Lay a small plate on top of the bags to ensure they remain immersed.  Cook for 3 hours.

Remove the bags from the sous vide machine and slice each open.  Using tongs, remove the breasts to a glass dish or roasting pan, disposing of the liquids and herbs.  If desired, run the breasts under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the skin is crisped.  Slice and serve.

Makes 6 servings

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Two Peas and Their Pod: Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies


Since certain people in my family are always asking how many carbs are in the desserts that I make (a lot!  it's dessert!), I figured I would play nice and make something with ZERO FLOUR.  You heard me, no flour.  Zilch.  Yes, it still has sugar.  It is a cookie, after all.  But at least it doesn't have flour!  And these cookies are pretty darn fantastic.  If you've ever eaten and loved Girl Scout cookies called Do-Si-Dos, you will enjoy this cookie.  If you just enjoy peanut butter desserts, you will enjoy this cookie.  If your heart is beating, you will enjoy this cookie.  Did I mention it's flourless?

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies
From Two Peas and Their Pod blog

For the cookies:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the chocolate ganache:
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup heavy cream

For the peanut butter filling:
¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the peanut butter and sugars together until creamy and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and mix until combined. Add the baking soda and salt and mix until combined.

Spoon dough into balls, about 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Smash dough balls with a fork, creating a crisscross. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Don't overbake. Remove cookies from oven and let them sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Move to a wire rack and cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave, in an microwave safe bowl, for 30-60 seconds, or until cream is hot, but not bubbling. Pour hot cream over chocolate chips and let sit for 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate melts and you have a smooth and silky ganache. Set aside.

Next, make the peanut butter frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until the frosting is creamy and smooth. If you need to add a little more powdered sugar or milk to reach your desired consistency, you can. You want the frosting to be thick.

To assemble the sandwich cookies, take one cookie and spread ganache on the inside of the cookie, about 1½ teaspoons. Next, either spread on the peanut butter frosting with a spoon or put the frosting in a pastry bag and pipe the frosting onto the ganache. Top with another cookie and gently squeeze so the ganache and frosting meet the edge of the cookies. Continue until all of your cookies are sandwiched.

Makes 14 sandwich cookies

Monday, December 19, 2016

Martha Stewart: Bacon Jam


I think Facebook is going to be my downfall.  Not because of the angry political rants.  Not because of the endless pictures of people's children.  Not because of the god awful selfies.  No, it will be my downfall because of the ridiculous amount of cooking videos that regularly swarm my newsfeed.  And when that video involved a chef making a big 'ol pot of bacon jam for his fried green tomato burger, I couldn't get to the store fast enough.  I have found the ultimate perfection of the pig, and this is it.  Smear it on everything.  I did a gorgeous grilled cheese stuffed with this stuff, and based on my groans, my downstairs neighbor probably thought I was dying.

Bacon Jam
Adapted from Martha Stewart and Rocky Hill Inn, Rocky Hill, NJ (as seen on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives)

1½ pounds sliced applewood smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup finely chopped white onion
4 small cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
1½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ cup bourbon
¼ cup maple syrup
⅓ cup sherry vinegar
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
Sea salt, to taste (optional)

Spread bacon in a single layer in a large skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until browned, 20 to 23 minutes. Add onions and garlic to pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, ginger, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Increase heat to high; add bourbon and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Add vinegar and brown sugar and return to a boil. Add reserved bacon; reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces to a thick glaze, about 10 minutes.  Add salt to taste if the bacon isn't very salty.

Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until it has the consistency of a chunky jam. Refrigerate in an airtight container at least 1 hour and up to 4 weeks.

Makes about 2¾ cups

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Averie Cooks: Glazed Orange Sweet Rolls


When I was a kid, my mom would occasionally bake up some cinnamon rolls.  You know, the ones that pop out of the paper cylinder when you peel the label?  Yeah, everyone knows what I'm talking about.  Now, those were yummy, but I was always a bit partial to the orange rolls.  Same idea, different filling, much more delicious.  While I can certainly still go grab a paper cylinder of ready-to-bake rolls, I thought I would try my hand at making them from scratch.  And these rolls bake up light as a feather, but rich and sweet.

Note: Really, this was just an excuse to make something with the Crosse & Blackwell orange marmalade that I love.  I swear, I could eat that stuff with a spoon, but I've been told that's not ladylike.  I highly recommend that particular brand for your filling, as it's perfectly puckery.

Glazed Orange Sweet Rolls
From Averie Cooks blog

Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
¼ cup granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast (one ¼-ounce packet)
Pinch salt, to taste
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly whisked

Filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft - let it sit out while dough rises
About 1 cup orange marmalade
½ cup packed light brown sugar

Orange Glaze
¼ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Pinch salt, optional and to taste (helps balance the sweetness)
About 3 tablespoons milk or cream, or as needed for consistency
3 teaspoons orange zest, divided

Dough:
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or use a large mixing bowl and wooden spoon and your hands), add 3 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt; set aside.

In 2-cup glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, and the butter and heat to melt, about 1 minute on high power.
Add buttermilk to melted butter and warm to temperature, about 45 seconds on high power in the microwave. (Based on the type of yeast used, milk temperatures will vary. Heat the mixture according to manufacturer's recommendations on the packaging. Taking the temperature with a digital thermometer is highly recommended, but if you're not, make sure the milk is warm, not hot. Err on the cooler rather than hotter side so you don't kill the yeast.) If the milk separates or gets a little funny looking after being warmed, whisk it to smooth it out.

Add butter-buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, crack and lightly whisk the eggs, and then add eggs to mixing bowl.

Turn mixer on low speed and allow it to knead dough for about 5 to 7 minutes (about 7 to 10 minutes by hand using a wooden spoon and then switching to your hands). If after 5 minutes your dough is very sloppy, wet, and won't come together, add up to ¼ cup flour, or as needed, until it does come together. However, the more flour added, the denser and heavier the rolls will be; wetter dough is preferred to overly dry. If dough is dry or crumbly, drizzle in buttermilk until it comes together.

Remove dough from the mixing bowl, spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the dough in the bowl, and flip it over once so it's lightly oiled on both top and bottom.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about 2 to 2½ hours, or doubled in size. (Try keeping the bowl inside an oven that was preheated for 1 minute to 400°F, then powered off. Do NOT keep the oven on. The pre-heated, warm oven creates a nice 85°F-ish environment, ideal for yeast. If your rising spot is cold, rising will likely take longer than 2½ hours.

While dough rises, line a 9x13-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

Rolling Out the Dough:
After dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Turn dough out onto a Silpat or floured countertop. With a rolling pin, roll it out to about 26-by-13-inches. Use the 13-inch side of the 9-x13 pan to eyeball it, no need use a ruler.

Filling:
Using a knife, evenly spread butter over dough, leaving a ½-inch bare margin.

Add about ¾ cup marmalade, more as needed, and smooth it with a knife. It should be a thin-ish layer; too much and you risk it leaking, but not enough and the rolls aren't orangey enough; use your judgment. The butter and marmalade get smeared together, which is okay.

Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the top, and lightly pat it down with your fingertips to help it adhere.

Slicing the Dough:
Starting with a long edge (the 26-inch side), roll the dough into a tightly wound log, with the seam side down.

Using a knife, make small hash marks so there will be 20 evenly sized rolls (about 1- to 1½-inches wide; or make bigger rolls and yield 12 to 16). Hash marks create less guesswork once you start slicing and things get messier and harder to eyeball where to slice; the hash marks are nice place-markers.

Use plain, unwaxed dental floss to slice the rolls. I highly recommend slicing the rolls with floss, not knives. Floss does not squish or compact the log like knives do.

Arrange the rolls in the prepared pan, 5 rows of 4 rolls across. Cover with plastic wrap.

Make Straight Through:
Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until the rolls have nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Or...Make as Overnight Rolls:
Don't let rolls rise after they've been sliced and placed in covered pan. Place pan in refrigerator for up to 16 hours. Before baking, let the rolls rise at room temperature until they have nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Baking:
For either version, bake at 375°F for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and cooked through (ovens, dough, and climates vary and so will baking duration, but 1 to 2 minutes matters in this recipe). Watch rolls like a hawk and don't overbake or they won't taste nearly as good.

Orange Glaze:
In a medium bowl, add the orange juice, vanilla, confectioners' sugar, optional salt, and whisk to combine; mixture will be thick.

Drizzle in the milk as needed until mixture can be whisked smooth and is to desired consistency.
Whisk in 2 teaspoons zest; set aside remainder.

Evenly pour glaze over rolls. Evenly sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon zest.

Serve immediately. Rolls are best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight at room temp for up to 4 days; reheat in micro for about 5 seconds to re-soften or as desired. I am comfortable keeping glazed rolls at room temp and do not recommend storing them in the fridge because they will dry out. Rolls can be made and baked to completion, and then frozen for up to 6 months; unthaw and glaze immediately prior to serving. I recommend baking them from start to finish and then freezing, rather than trying to freeze unbaked dough, if you want to make in bulk in advance.